Training (earn 10-30 points)


Before you can make your own films, you’ll need to hone your skills.   There are a few ways that you can train to become a jedi master master filmmaker.  The first way is to complete a training.

1. Choose your discipline.  

When you complete a training, it may only cover one of the following disciplines:


For the purposes of the course, training and assessment in the ‘directing’ category have to do with aspects of ‘mise-en-scéne’ and directing actors. Training for directors may include:

  • an examination and report on a director’s style.
  • a short documentary about a director’s style or emulating a director’s style.


Training in the cinematography badges relate to anything to do with camera or lighting. Training in this category might include:

  • Learning a difficult camera movement (i.e. a vertigo shot).
  • Training on equipment (i.e. Dolly Track, Crane Arm, Steadicam).
  • Learning to use lenses effectively.
  • Learning a new lighting technique.
  • Learning the three point lighting technique.


Training for the editing badge relates to any post-production work not including special effects (this is a separate badge).  Work towards the editing badge may include:

  • Learning to do color grading in a variety of ways.
  • Learning to use multiple layers in Final Cut Pro to achieve different effects.
  • Learning to do titling work.


Training for the sound badge relates to any work connected to production or post production work regarding sound recording and design.

  • Learning to create soundscapes and atmospherics.
  • Learning to create foley sounds.
  • Learning tools for manipulating sounds in programs like Garage Band.


Scriptwriting for the studio involves training in the art of storytelling.  To train as a scriptwriter, you might:

  • Learn about the Hero’s Journey and connections to mythology.
  • Learn about Freytag’s pyramid.
  • Learn from writers about good writing.
  • Learn how to write good dialogue.

Special Effects

Training for special effects will mostly be connected to work in After Effects, but other programs may be included as well. For example:

  • Learning to make explosions.
  • Learning to make laser effects.
  • Lots of stuff.  So much stuff.

2. Choose your learning style.  

Practical Training: 20 Points

Get your hands on some equipment and follow a tutorial online or in a book.  In order to complete this training, you must create a short clip in which you test out a technique or style.  The clip should include a voice over in which you explain what we are seeing on screen, how it has been used before, and how you could use it in your next project.

Suggested Starting Points:

Film Riot Tutorials

Vimeo Video School

Research: 20 Points

Read a journal article, chapter from a film text, or interview with a filmmaker and write a short analytical response.  Your response should be about 250 -500 words about a specific technique that your filmmaker discusses.  Include a discussion of what the technique is, how it has been used, and how you could use it in your next film.

Possible Starting Point:  Reference books from our Film Library.

Analysis: 20 Points

Watch a film of your choosing, but be sure to check with The Studio Head for advice first – no Michael Bay movies.  Films that you might consider include classics, films from a variety of countries, time periods, or genres.  Certainly look to watch some films from established directors. Document a technique that you observe in any one of the disciplines – describe specifically how it was used in the film and how it created meaning towards the themes or tone of the film.

Learn from Experience: 20 Points

Have someone in the class teach you a technique and try it yourself.

Teach as a Mentor:  25 Points

Teach someone a technique that you have already covered.

Teach as a Master: 35 Points

Teach someone a technique that you have already covered in a discipline for which you’ve earned an achievement badge.

3. Self-Evaluate

After you complete your training, fill out a Self Evaluation Training Rubric and upload it to the proper course.  Once you earn five training badges, you will be certified in a certain skill.

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